NEWS

88 Cases Reported Against Teachers and Education Officers This Year

‘The Ministry of Education is losing its trained teachers because of breach of conduct and disciplinary issues’
09 Aug 2019 12:54
88 Cases Reported Against Teachers and Education Officers This Year
Manager Learning and Development for the Ministry of Education Ranjish Raj during the Fiji Headteachers Association Annual Conference at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva on August 8, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

A total of 88 cases have been reported against teachers and education officers in 2019. 50 of these cases are for corporal punishment.

This was revealed in Suva yesterday at the Fiji Head Teachers Association Annual Conference. The conference was held at the FMF Gymnasium.

The remaining cases include 31 for unprofessional conduct, four for sexual harassment and three for forging qualifications.

The cases are pending investigation and if proven true, the teachers could have their contracts terminated.

These statistics were shared by representatives from the Ministry of Education’s Human Resource team, who conducted a presentation for teachers on the ministry’s new approach towards HR management.

Manager Performance Arvind Kumar said 39 teachers were terminated in 2018 out of the 199 cases reported. Of this, 25 were for inflicting corporal punishment on students.

Mr Kumar said the ministry was losing its trained teachers because of breach of conduct and disciplinary issues.

“They will not get a chance to return to the Ministry,” Mr Kumar said while addressing heads of schools.

He added that forgery was also becoming a trend in the Ministry and this was another challenge for the human resources department.

“A date change in your medical certificate is forgery,” he highlighted.

“The solicitor-general’s office has advised us; it will be a termination and the matter will be referred to the Police for you to be charged with.”

Mr Kumar said they were getting cases of teachers who have forged certificates from the Fiji National University.

“It is only the FNU certificates we find because the institution had undergone a transition stage and as much maybe people are finding it easy to forge certificates,” he said.

It was also revealed during the conference that the ministry had a qualification project team who were organising teacher files.

The team is looking after 13,000 individual teachers’ personal files and they found some of these files did not have the required documents like birth and marriage certificates and appointment letters.

The team is going over each of the teachers’ qualifications and getting it verified from the particular universities.

“We have found three forged ones and there are more to come,” Mr Kumar said.

The team is awaiting verifications for others from teacher training institutions.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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